Knobody, Tha Cleanup

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

"If it ain't my time to shine, you're watching the wrong clock" proclaims Knobody halfway through his second record. He could be on to something; for years hip-hop has been polarized, split between brainy backpackers and crass commercial rappers. Lately, that line has diminished: the success of Kanye West and Common suggest that it might be possible for both worlds to exist in one marketplace — heck, even in one person. The Oakland rapper Knobody falls into that same category. He has West's easy-going flow and good-humor, but tracks like "Champion" and "What U Think" have a kind of DJ Toomp darkness that loans the record necessary menace. As a part of the Hieroglyphics crew — the collective founded by Del the Funkee Homosapien — he's surrounded by other artists with a similar aesthetic and drive. Together, they're the new face of hip-hop: focused and determined, all eyes on the right clock.